Mamma is STILL a pratt!
With the promise of more blood, mayhem, gore, bile, violence and warm fuzzy feelings we present ReLoaded. Gremlin's sequel to last year's hit game Loaded has been redone, revamped, reprogrammed, and released. Remain seated! Resume reading! Regardless of revision, Reloaded is repetative, redundant, and regurgative. (OK, I'll stop.)
In case you know nothing about Loaded, it is a top-down shooter where you play one of 6 homicidal maniacs blasting their way off a prison planet. The game was low on plot, high on gore, and chock-full 'o firepower. It also got boring fairly quickly. Reloaded, despite a whole new game engine, has very few improvements on the original and, in some ways, is even worse.
The (sick) character design has stayed up to par, with four from the old game (Mamma, Cap'n Hands, Bounca, and Butch). FWAnK the clown appears on the packaging, but we haven't found him in the game yet. Butch and Bounca have keen new outfits, but my favorite is Mamma's cute blue bunny suit! Butch has turned in his flamethrower for a pair of UZI's and Bounca now has a triple barrelled shotgun.
There are also two new characters. Sister Magpie is a deranged robotic nun. In her intro movie, she carries a human head with a slot cut into the top for donations. The Consumer looks a lot like Tank Girl and she eats people. Her opening movie shows her preparing a delicious, meaty treat. It's NOT for kids!
The new engine includes true 3D landscapes, and a 'mostly' top down view that shifts angles slightly to make sure your character is always visible. The backgrounds are well texture mapped and look good with very few flaws. They are also more widely varied than the original. The excellent zooming feature works even better than before. The slight side angle makes the characters more visible, and more animated. Unfortuantely, the animations aren't very good and don't always match up with the backgrounds, making some of the characters look like they are ice skating instead of walking or running.
The lanscaped backgrounds have much more z-depth than before, and you can gain and lose quite a bit of altitude. However, because of the overhead angle, it is often very difficult to tell when you are climbing or descending. Since you can only fire on a flat plane, it can be confusing when all your shots are going over the enemies' heads or blasting the dirt directly in front of them because you can't tell that you're standing on a slope.
What little plot Loaded had seems to have been discarded in Reloaded. Gone is the dark prison planet, exchanged for other, well-lit planets. FUB (Fat Ugly Boy) has become CHEB (Charming Handsome Erudite Bastard) and you still want to kill him. Why do you want to kill him? We don't know... You're a deranged mass-murderer and you've already escaped from prison. The universe should be your oyster. But you're trying to kill him anyway. Some unexplained person or group is sending you on missions after him. The first mission is to collect little squirming green grubs on the surface of a planet and give them to a 20 foot tall guitar player so you can cross his bridge (meanwhile destroying everything in your path). Essentially, there's no plot here at all.
And the mazes (oh the mazes!). Gremlin didn't fix one of my chief complaints last time. This is an ACTION game! I don't want to spend hours drawing maps and getting lost in twisty corridors. But the mazes are back, and with little elevators and other 3D additions, they are even more difficult to get through than before.
The best part of Reloaded is the same as Loaded: The firepower. If you can live long enough, there are plenty of power-ups to satisfy any trigger-happy gamer. Each character has a different weapon and smartbomb to play around with.
Reloaded simply shoots at its target . . . and misses. Its a rehash of the same game, with the same problems. It has even less plot, and less of the intriguing dark mood that the first one had. Some of the graphics are better, but some are not. And it's still boring after your 10,000th kill.
Before you pay REtail for REloaded, you should REconsider.